Qld police have slapped up to 70 anti Adani protesters – arrested yesterday as part of Tuesday’s Extinction Rebellion “Rebellion day” protests – with bail conditions that prevent them from entering the city centre for two to three weeks.
The 70 arrestees deliberately blocked roads in front of police in central Brisbane, knowing that they would be arrested. The assumption by these deliberately detained dole bludgers seems to be that the police would be gentle with them. To be fair, this is usually the case with left-wing extremist protesters no matter how violent or disruptive; so having the police ban them from the city centre under threat of being held in the watch house until their court dates must have come as quite a shock.
Chief amongst the whingers against this move has been former UQ Industrial relations lecturer and long-time Socialist Alternative (SAlt) organiser Tom Bramble who complained bitterly on social media about “police intimidation” and threats against poor arrestees who had only committed “trivial summary offenses”. Bramble went on to accuse the Queensland police service of “Doing Palaszczuk’s dirty work to serve Adani, Rinehart, Palmer and all the other corrupt Mining industry bosses”. In another social media post Tom declared that those arrested for deliberately committing crimes in front of police officers were “victims” of the Queensland Premier’s “Mineral-industrial police state”.
Poor Tom can get a little excitable at times.
Mr Bramble has been a Socialist Alternative organiser since the late 90s having served on the group’s National executive and participating in violent protests as far back as the S11 riots of September 2000. But Tom is perhaps best known for his article in the Socialist Alternative magazine where he declared that every time he saw an Australian flag it made him want to vomit. Tom doesn’t like Australia much. He may have been particularly irritated by this most recent hardening of Qld police attitudes since several of his young SAlt protégés seem to have been among the arrested including “Uni Students for climate Justice” convenor Catherine Robertson.
Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk has been under increasing pressure to crack down on the disruptive traffic-blocking protests organised by Extinction Rebellion and Socialist Alternative. Despite the support of some sections of the press to support them, nothing irritates the Australian public more than self-indulgent protesters blocking traffic simply for the sake of blocking traffic. If it were for a march or a rally, people would be more understanding, but blocking the road just to block the road gets very little sympathy amongst the “Quiet Australians” in the suburbs.
As a result of Tuesday’s arrests and resultant bail conditions, Socialist Alternative (through its front group “Uni Students for Climate justice”) has changed the route of its likely much larger rally planned for this Friday. They now plan to march across the boundary of the restricted area so that they can join with their bail restricted “comrades” in what will presumably be a gigantic festival of self-congratulatory self-love.
While the increase in penalties by Queensland police is welcome, it clearly won’t be enough to stop these extremists and their self-publicising hangers-on from continuing to disrupt the lives of decent Australians. More is needed, and soon. One only hopes the currently embattled Queensland Premier feels enough pressure to order Qld police to crack down further.